Brazilian president won't certify reservation

The president of Brazil has refused to certify a 1,000-square-mile reservation, leading to an influx of whites on traditional tribal territory.

President Luiz In�cio Lula da Silva promised to support tribal rights. But since he took office, he failed to sign the official order for the Raposa Serra do Sol Indigenous Reservation.

The delay has allowed white farmers to evict tribes from their own land. The farmers, who are backed by local politicians, have gone to the courts to fight the establishment of the reservation.

The reservation is considered valuable real estate not just for rice farming but for gold and diamonds. It borders Venezuela and Guyana and tribal leaders say there is already an active smuggling trade of gas, gold, diamonds and drugs.

Get the Story:
Brazilians Battle Indians: 'This Land Is Our Land' (The New York Times 10/15)